The Beautiful and much Maligned Helen of Troy!
I review the story of little known Jocasta, mother and wife of Oedipus, in Netalie Haynes book, Pandora's Jar: Women in the Greek Myths.
Klara and the sun is the latest (2021) science fiction novel by Kazuo Ishiguro who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2017. Klara and the Sun, set somewhere in the United States, is a futurist novel of what science and artificial intelligence could do to create a dystopian society. The protagonist and narrator in the novel Klara is an AF, Artificial Friend, a humanoid robot designed as a companion for children.
Pandora's Box: Women in Greek Myths. Natalie Haynes chooses ten women in Greek myths whose stories have been told and retold, in paintings, jars, films, operas, musicals. She noticed that major women characters in the original versions became nonexistent or pale shadows of themselves as time passed and with each retelling. She retells the story of ten Greek mythical women, delves into ancient texts and foregrounds them.
Mary Barton is a novel by Elizabeth Gaskell written in 1848. It is the story of the English working class, represented by John Barton and his daughter Mary Barton, in the city of Manchester during the period 1839 and 1842. Elizabeth Gaskell paints a very real picture of the life, trails and tribulations of the … Continue reading Mary Barton: Trials and Tribulations of the English Working Class
The Golden Rule: Value of Silence versus Speaking up on Mental Health. While 'maintaining silence' may have been a culture of the older generation, the millennial seems to wear their emotions on their sleeves. The minute to minute expression of thought, love, hope, despair, elation, the mundane on open sites for all ‘friends’ to see and read, is the new way of life. Does this help to maintain a mental balance?
The Human Computer: Shakuntala Devi: I went to school in Calcutta and I distinctly remember Shakuntala Devi's visit to the school. She bowled us over with her Mathematical genius. She was able to calculate the root or squares, cubes, to infinity of unbelievably long numbers! We were absolutely awestruck.
'The Door' is a novel by Magda Szabo, a Hungarian writer. I was struck by the similarity in the climax to the Hindi writer Yashpal's short story 'Parda'. In both the stories when tragedy strikes, 'the door' and the 'parda', meaning curtain, drop or are torn apart, leaving the stark reality staring in the face of the spectators and the reader.
The writing of Jorge Luis Borges is like a Maze, a surrealistic maze. I read his book 'Labyrinths', a very good title to this collection of some of his classic short stories, essays and parables. The style of writing is unique and each of these are more complex than the previous. Borges was born in … Continue reading Jorge Luis Borges: A Maze of Surrealism
Homo Deus is a fascinating account of what can become of Homo sapiens with the expanding frontiers of science and the new technology such as, bio engineering, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning. Harari predicts that the human agenda will focus on how to counter old age, remain in a permanent state of happiness and being Homo Deus, God!
Anitav Ghosh's new novel ‘Gun Island’ is similar and yet different from his earlier novels. He weaves a fascinating tale of displacement of people and animals due to disasters plaguing this world, with an air of mystery hinging on the supernatural.